05 April, 2017

Reflections on Riding in Taiwan

by Igor

The riding through Taipei, Taiwan is like nowhere else I have ever experienced. Traffic goes by and around at speeds which should make you feel uncomfortable, but it is all a delicate choreography of swooping, merging, filtering, and acceleration that is acted out on the stage by bicycles, scooters, and cars. Amazingly, all of this happens with virtually no horn honking.

The most important part is to fit in by being confident, and that means breaking some rules that are often considered commonplace. At a redlight, going around traffic to filter towards the front is perfectly normal. Quickly navigating around double-parked cars is expected and safe. Everyone on the road, regardless of what you're driving or riding, is treated equally and without prejudice.

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Nestled amongst all of the surface streets, there are a ton of parks and greenspaces as nice respites from daily traffic and the general hustle and bustle of city life in Taipei. In addition, the riverside parks following the Tamsui and Keelung Rivers allow riders to traverse the outer edges of the city completely off the street. Though the route is flat, crosswinds and headwinds abound in these long, bike-centric highways.

After a day at the show, we decided to get further out of the city and give our climbing legs a bit of a workout. Climbing through mountainous roads, we were awarded some breathtaking views and descents. I really enjoyed getting in the drops, snaking around corners, and overtaking those scooters that had left me in their dust in the valley below.

Towards the end of the ride, we made it to one of my favorite shops, Sense 30. The guys here have made the shop a real destination for bike nerds coming from all over the world. In addition to custom, in-house framebuilding, they specialize in hard to find parts and accessories, built-to-order luggage, lifestyle apparel, and even have a museum of French, English, Italian, and American components. Also, locally roasted coffee to get you nice and jazzed.

We'll be posting more info regarding show sightings, factory visits, and other product updates soon. Keep your eyes peeled. 

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